Buying a Business

Buying a Website

Written by Bobby Jan for Gaebler Ventures

There are many benefits of buying an online business instead of starting one from scratch. This article explores some of these benefits of buying a website followed by a checklist of questions to ask when buying a website.

If you want to start an online business, you must either build a website or buy a website.

Buying a Website

Both options have its advantages and disadvantages. This article explores some of the benefits of buying an existing website followed by a checklist of questions to ask when buying a website.

No Startup Cost

Building an online business from scratch can be costly both in terms of time and money, especially if you are not technically savvy. If you buy an existing online business, you can skip the cost and hassles associated with building a functional website.

Immediate Web Presence

Even if you are able to get your online business up and running in only a few weeks, it will still take a long time to establish yourself in the World Wide Web. An existing website may already have a good reputation, visitors, and a high rank on search engines.

Immediate Cash Flow

Establishing a customer base also takes a lot of time and money. Buying an existing website also means buying an established customer base. If this is what you want, make sure you ask to see the current database of customers.

You May Find a Good Deal

Some websites could be purchased for very little money. A low price tag does not necessarily mean the website is bad. It could mean a number of different things. Look for website owners who are

  • Bored with the website
  • Don't have enough time to maintain the website
  • Desperately in need of money.

Checklist for Buying a Website

Like buying any other business, buying an online business requires doing some homework. The following is a checklist of things you should ask when buying a website:

  • Are there any customer contracts?
  • How much revenue is the website generating?
  • What and how much expense does it incur?
  • How could a change in management reduce expense?
  • How could a change in management increase profit?
  • How long has the website been established?
  • How many visitors does the website get per day?
  • How does the website rank in various search engines?
  • How could ranking be improved?
  • What publicity has the website received?
  • Does the website have a poor reputation or other stigma?
  • Does it have a Secure Socket Layer certificate to allow protected transactions over the internet?
  • Do you have the expertise to maintain the site?

Cheng Ming (Bobby) Jan is an Economics major at the University of Chicago who has a strong interest in entrepreneurship and investing.

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